Aggregate concrete is a great choice for outdoor surface installations. It consists of concrete mixed with gravel or small pebbles to create a decorative effect. You can apply the aggregate with excellent results on your driveway, patio or sidewalk. When well installed, the concrete gives your home an attractive appearance. Many homeowners prefer to paint their aggregate. This creates an attractive display of color and allows you to accomplish your desired outdoor color scheme. When you paint, it also gives the concrete a fresh, new look. Below are 4 tips to help you paint your aggregate concrete.
Outdoor concrete surfaces get dirty very quickly due to exposure to the elements. It is important that you clean your aggregate thoroughly before you paint. Prepare a solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and water. Use this to clean the concrete with the help of a medium bristle scrub brush. This will get rid of dirt, grease, and grime. TSP also helps to clear surface stains. Rinse the concrete with plain water from your garden hose. Use a high-pressure setting on the nozzle to help rinse effectively. The high-pressure setting will also help to flush away grit and debris from the aggregate. You can use a mop to wipe away excess water. Allow the aggregate 24 hours to air dry.
It is a good idea to seal your aggregate concrete before you apply the primer. This will give the concrete a higher resistance to water infiltration which often creates cracks in concrete. Sealing also protects the concrete from damage by cleaning agents, dirt, stains, and effects of weather. Apply one coat of an epoxy concrete sealer. Use a rough-textured nap roller to help you apply evenly over the entire surface. Allow several hours for the sealer to dry completely.
3. Use a Primer
It helps if you obtain a primer that complements the sealer. This will enable the paint to attach more effectively and give you better results when you paint. Use an oil-based masonry primer for exterior surfaces. It is best to use a rough textured nap roller for the application of primer. This will enable effective application between the aggregate. Allow the first coat of primer to dry well before you apply a second coat. Allow the second coat to dry through the night. Once sealed and primed, you’ll have a strong water-resistant surface for the paint.
4. Paint Application
An oil-based masonry paint gives the best results on exterior surfaces. This transfers readily onto the aggregate concrete. Apply 3 to 4 thin coats of paint in the same manner as you applied primer. However, you may prefer to apply additional coats to get a deeper color and a more resilient surface. The application of several thin coats is better than one thick coat. Thin coats adhere to the concrete better and dry faster. Thick coats do not dry well and leave you with a gummy surface. Once painted, allow the surface adequate time to dry. It is best to allow 7 days before you walk upon your aggregate.